The first televised commercial was aired in July 1941 over New York City’s WNBC station. The ad featured a simple graphic for the Bulova watch company and most likely cost as little as $8 at the time.
But, advertising didn’t start with TV. The first recorded print ad was published in 1472 in England, and ads have been around since 2000 BC.
Over the years, the evolution of advertising has hit multiple milestones and undergone severe fluctuations.
What started as minimal print ads in the middle ages has today transformed into a complex web of social media market trends and consumer insights.
In this age of the internet, the emphasis is not on why you should advertise but on how you should advertise your brand.
When everything is a click away, marketing is everything.
Businesses need to be aware of the latest trends and understand what consumers want in order to create successful marketing campaigns.
The first step in building a successful marketing strategy is identifying and understanding your target audience.
And, of late, one particular audience has caught the attention of marketers across the globe: Gen Z.
From billboards to social media, everyone is talking about Gen Z.
So, What is Gen Z?
The easiest way to define Generation Z is by determining their age. Those born between 1997 to 2012 can be classified as a part of this unique cohort.
But, there’s a lot more to Gen Z that goes beyond the fundamental differences in their
age that sets them apart from all the generations that came before.
This new cohort is known for its self-reliance, highly collaborative skills, and headstrong opinions.
They’re shaped by an environment of economic instability, rapid social change, and steadfast digital innovation.
They are the first generation of human beings who are alien to the concept of life without the internet and technology. This, in turn, makes them tech-savvy individuals with the power to transform anything with the swipe of a finger.
Why Should You Care About Gen Z?
Unlike Gen X and Millenials, members of Generation Z are not merely the future of the planet, they are also the future of consumption patterns which will dominate the market in years to come – making them crucial for your business.
Now that they are coming of age and entering the workforce, everyone wants to market to Gen Z.
Gen Z is the new cool kid on the block – with a disposable income of $360 Billion.
Getting ahead in business today requires building trust with this latest generation of consumers – and that means understanding them, their environment, and how their experiences will shape their lives to come.
It requires a thorough understanding of generational marketing.
As a marketer, the first question you should ask yourself is where do you market to Gen Z.
Gone are the days when people were tied to their newspapers or tv screens for content. Rapidly evolving social media is the present and the future of marketing to Gen Z.
Active social media marketing allows businesses to reach Gen Z where they are spending the majority of their time.
They are always on the go, always moving and always staying busy. It is easy for them to be distracted and have their attention pulled in many directions.
To be effective, and not invasive, commercial interruptions need to be shorter to match the bite-sized nature of the content being consumed via social media.
An effective social media marketing strategy should be both attention-grabbing and congruent with the type of content Gen Z is consuming on specific platforms.
For example, an ad meant for Instagram might not be as successful on Twitter.
Ways to Effectively Market to Gen Z
Give a Damn. Really.
Generation Z has grown up in a world where corporate social responsibility (CSR) failures are all too common.
Thanks to activism and the internet, society is now much more sceptical of businesses and their motives. Gen Z has seen through the facade of many so-called CSR efforts and knows that they are nothing more than marketing ploys.
From gender and racial equality to environmental conservation, Gen Z cares about creating real change in the world.
If brands want to stay relevant to this new generation of consumers, they need to make changes in the way they market and brand their businesses.
Master the Lingo
Gen Z is a smart and savvy demographic, and their language reflects the same.
The best way to connect with Gen Z is by speaking their language – not mimicking it.
Let Gen Z speak to Gen Z so that your message doesn’t seem like a forced fit.
Pulp Cosmetics, a vegan skincare brand, strikes the right balance. It comes across as a fun and approachable brand that speaks with the audience without sounding like they’re trying too hard.